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Diane Dreher's Tao of Inner Peace Blog

Do You Have an Energy Drain in Your Life?

The Tao Te Ching tells us:


Lead with the Tao

And negativity has no power.

The energy is not repressed

But redirected

So that it does no harm.

             (Tao, Chapter 60)


Have you ever walked into a room and felt the energies of the people there—from a warm welcoming feeling to cold, hostile reception?


As the Tao Te Ching affirmed centuries ago and current research in physics and psychology has confirmed, our thoughts, our attitudes, our emotions are all forms of energy, constantly influencing the world around us.


As we share the energy fields of the people around us, we're also affected by their actions and attitudes. Spending time with other people means sharing the same atmosphere, breathing the same air, experiencing their energies. Some interactions are energizing. Others deplete us.


If someone you know is currently going through a hard time, you can support your friend with compassion. But if this person is chronically anxious or depressed, the kindest thing you can do is to refer them to a therapist who can provide them with the professional help they need.


But some people habitually dump their problems on others. Is there someone in your life who constantly drags you down? If you feel exhausted after being together, this person could be an energy drain. Imbalanced, uncentered, and out of touch with their own sources of renewal, such people subsist on energy transfusions from others.


Energy drains are immersed in black holes of negativity. Whenever something goes wrong, they run to a strong friend to rescue them, complaining, blaming others, and acting so needy that you may feel guilty saying no. Attaching themselves like barnacles, these people can become increasingly demanding and dependent.


Do you have an energy drain in your life? Does being with a particular person leave you exhausted?  Here are some strategies that could help:


  • Before you see this person again, take steps to limit the interaction. Set a time limit for your meeting and then keep to it.
  • When you meet with this person, pause and take a deep mindful breath, breathing slowly and deeply into the region of your heart. Research at the HeartMath Institute  has shown that this heart-focused breathing can help return you to a centered, balanced state.
  • If you feel yourself  being drained, say to yourself, "This is not my energy. I am at peace."
  • After seeing this person, you may want to do another short heart-focused breathing exercise. You may want to wash your hands as a ritual of release..
  • You may want to ask yourself  why you've attracted this unhealthy relationship. What is there in you that perpetuates this pattern? Does this remind you of something in your childhood?


Take steps to release this negative pattern to create a more positive cycle. You can begin this now with a simple loving kindness meditation.


  • Take a deep breath and slowly release it, saying to yourself, "May I be filled with loving kindness. May I be safe, may I be healthy, may I peaceful and serene. May I be happy." 
  • Then take another deep breath and release it as you think of this person and say, "May you be filled with loving kindness, may you be safe, may you be healthy, may you be peaceful and serene. May you be happy."
  • Finally, take another deep breath and as you release it, say to yourself, "May all beings be filled with loving kindness. May all be safe. May all be well. May all be peaceful and serene. May all be happy."


I wish you joy in the process.

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